Presidents Say the Most Interesting Things

R. Luke DuBois has created a fascinating visual representation of presidential State of the Union addresses (also known as annual messages until FDR's administration). HINDSIGHT IS ALWAYS 20/20 takes the State of the Union addresses from each presidency and sorts them according to word frequency, generating a Snellen eye chart for each president, with the …

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Songs about Presidents

In honor of Presidents' Day, listen to some songs about the presidents, including Johnny Cash singing about James Garfield and Electric Needle Room's tribute to Jimmy Carter. (Speaking of Jimmy Carter, and unfortunately for you, I don't have a way to share Kirk and Preston's "We Love You Jimmy Carter." Apparently, I am the only person …

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Nate Silver Predicts President Obama’s Future Reputation

Nate Silver, who won accolades for his electoral predictions during the 2012 presidential election, has analyzed and predicted where Barack Obama will place in future presidential rankings. Longtime readers may remember my discussion of these rankings here and here, and my students in the American Presidency courses that I've taught hopefully recall that our initial …

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Yay, Adams! Boo, Jackson!

Tony Petersen, editor-in-chief of the CSU Fresno Collegian, has given his opinion on some of the best and worst U.S. presidents. Petersen's favorite president is John Adams, who had a distinguished pre-presidential career but wasn't so great as chief executive, if you ask me. The XYZ Affair, the Quasi-War with France, and the Alien and …

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The British Rank the U.S. Presidents

The Institute for the Study of the Americas recently conducted a survey of U.S. presidents: Through the agency of its United States Presidency Centre [USPC], the Institute for the Study of the Americas (located in the University of London’s School of Advanced Study) has undertaken the first ever UK academic survey to rate US presidents. This polled the opinion …

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Commemorating Liberty and Slavery in Philadelphia

Yesterday, the New York Times ran reviewed the new exhibit, “The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation,” which opens today. The exhibit treats the Philadelphia house where George Washington and John Adams lived as presidents during the 1790s. (The U.S. had several capital cities in its early years before …

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Recommendations for Presidential Biographies

A colleague and I are working on revamping the American presidency course that is in our course catalog. Currently, it is listed as under political science, but we have requested that it be crosslisted with history. Our hope is to use the course to rebuild the political science program, which disappeared into academic purgatory several years ago. …

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Net Worth of Early Republic Presidents

Earlier this year, The Atlantic published a list calculating the net worth of all 43 U.S. presidents (in 2010 dollars). By way of explanation, note the following from the article: Because a number of presidents, particularly in the early nineteenth century, made and lost huge fortunes in a matter of a few years, the number …

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2010 Presidential Rankings

Siena Research Institute, housed at Siena College in Loudonville, New York, recently released its presidential expert poll. The SRI press release explains the methodology used:  The Siena College Research Institute (SRI) Survey of U.S. Presidents is based on responses from 238 presidential scholars, historians and political scientists that responded via mail or web to an invitation …

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